GILLMAN, Charles Henry

No.47770, Corporal, Charles GILLMAN
Aged 27

12th Trench Mortar Battery, Royal Field Artillery
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 5th January 1916

Charles Henry Gillman was born on 5th September 1888,in Boreham Wood(Barnet Q4-1888 3A:213) baptised in Elstree, Herts on 14th October 1888, son of Charles Henry and Gertrude Bessie GILLMAN (née CLARKE).

1891 census...Aged 2, he was at Boreham Wood with his father Charles H.GILLMAN [35] hay carter born Mildenhall and his mother Gertrude B [27] born Croxton, Suffolk

1901 census...Aged 12, he was at Upwick Green, Albury, Herts with his parents (father now farm bailiff); sisters Ethel May [9] born Elstree, Martha [7], Emily Bessie [5] and Gladys Mary [3] all three born in Albury.

1911 census...Aged 22, a horse keeper, he was at Banstead Farm, Kirtling with his parents and sisters Ethel May, Martha and Gladys May and brother Noel Roy [8] born Albury. His mother had lost 2 of her 8 children.

He enlisted in Newmarket in September 1914, resident of Cowlinge.
It is hard to see how he can be attributed to the 12th Trench Mortar Battery since that unit was not formed until June 1916 as part of 12th Brigade. Also a transcription error by CGWC has him in the Garrison Artillery, when their own form says Royal Field Artillery (the expected branch of artillery for a trench mortar unit).
Be that as it may, accurately finding the exact location of these units is virtually impossible.

The Newmarket Journal of 15th January 1916 reported:-
On Monday Mr.C Gillman, Parsonage Farm, received news that his son, Corpl.C.H.Gillman, had been killed at the front on Jan.5th. In a very sympathetic letter from the chaplain who conducted the burial service said that the deceased had been quite a favourite with his comrades, being of as bright and genial nature, and would be sadly missed. A cross bearing his name and age (27) will be erected on the grave. Death was instantaneous, so that he suffered no pain. The sad news cast quite a gloom over the village, and it may be of some comfort to the sorrowing family to know they have the sympathy of everyone. The deceased had been at the front since last spring, and was home on short leave in October.

photo: Rodney Gibson

photo: Rodney Gibson

Charles Gillman is buried in Erquinghem Lys Churchyard Extension, grave 1:G:15

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details